Walking the Ground

Locations in blue are those I have visited, and those in magenta are “on the list.”
The more I explore, the more my curiosity grows.

“Here under the clear skies, on the green hillsides among the flowering fields of France, in the quiet hush of peace, we leave you forever in God’s keeping.”

General of the Armies John. J. Pershing
Memorial Day 1919

American Cemetery Meuse-Argonne

and the American Memorial at Montfaucon

“There lies the road from Avocourt
That leads to Montfaucon,
Past sniper and machine gun nest
By steel and thermite cleansed.
They’re gone –
And there in thund’rous echelon
The ruined heights of Montfaucon.”

1st Lt. Harold Riezelman, US Chemical Warfare Service

The American Memorial at Montfaucon commemorates the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The crest of the hill was captured on the second day of the attack. Behind the American memorial are the remains of the Montfaucon church. The village of Montfaucon that was located here was completely destroyed in the war and rebuilt a few hundred yards to the west.


L’ossuaire de Douaumont, Fort de Douaumont, Mémorial de Verdun

The Somme

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

“That the world may remember the common sacrifice of two and a half million dead, here have been laid side by side Soldiers of France and of the British Empire in eternal comradeship.”
Thiepval Cemetery Cross inscription

Canadian Memorial at Courcelette

Vimy Ridge

“As far as I could see, south, north along the miles of the Ridge, there were the Canadians. And I experienced my first full sense of nationhood.”
Lieutenant Gregory Clark, M.C.
Weekend Magazine, November 13, 1967


Above: Town square in April 2015 and February 1919
Below: Hôtel d’ville and town square in April 2015 and May 1917.

Source of 1917 photos: U.S. National Archives; attributed to British War Museum